Will Yahoo's Fire Eagle burn out at ETech?

Facing a takeover bid from Microsoft, Yahoo has pinned its hopes on new product launches from its best and brightest. In less than 11 hours, one of them, developer Tom Coates, will take the stage at ETech, Tim O'Reilly's conference outside San Diego. His mission: to roll out the long-delayed Fire Eagle, a system for announcing your physical location to other websites. Possibly. This evening, Coates has been announcing his location, and his situation, via Twitter. He's in Carlsbad, the site of the conference. Things are not going well: "Listening to Chopin. It is not calming me the fuck down. Grr!" In other Twitters, Coates moans about the number of tasks left to do. While he doesn't specify, it's hard to imagine he's doing anything but fixing bugs

Much rides on Coates's tail. His previous boss, Salim Ismail, was fired, in part due to Fire Eagle's delays. His new boss, Chad Dickerson, has flown down from San Francisco to watch the launch.

The Microsoft takeover comes down to this: Bill Gates & Co. think they can outcode Jerry Yang's minions. Can they? Or does Yahoo actually know what it's doing? Coates's presentation tomorrow will form part of the answer.